Hamilton: Vettel is clearly Ferrari's No.1 driver

Bottas tried to to take his chance to pass, but Ricciardo plonked the Red Bull in the centre of the track up the hill and held on as much as his cool tyres would allow. It was also raining. There is no point dwelling on the fact that you can not afford it.

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick led the most laps (42), but Busch passed him late in the first stage for the playoff points.

The last time Raikkonen took the top spot here, in 2005 for McLaren, he went on to lead every lap on his way to winning the race.

After six of 20 races, this lead is not big enough to be alarming. Something flew out from underneath Jeffrey Earnhardt's vehicle and hit the front of Elliott's auto, which quickly caught fire just as NASCAR was preparing going to a competition caution.

The safety auto was deployed, and when Wehrlein's vehicle was rolled back on to its four wheels by the marshals, the 22-year-old mercifully emerged without any obvious injury.

Keselowski was considered one of the favorites. He drove well in the first stint but then you get the message to go in, you do the stop and then you push.

The Briton told reporters after the German handed Ferrari their first Monaco Grand Prix win in 16 years that the Italian team was clearly favouring the championship leader over his team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

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"Ferrari seems to work everywhere, so these next 14 races will be very very hard", he said. "It's very, very special to win here".

There is a delicious irony in the fact that after weeks of calling on Mercedes to throw all its efforts behind Lewis Hamilton's bid for the title, the (mainly British) media is now aghast at the possibility of Ferrari adopting the self-same policy for Sebastian Vettel.

"I like the notion of underdog because the underdog is the one that people want to see win", Hamilton's Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said. I can understand Kimi is not entirely happy today. I was devastated yesterday but to come away with some points is better than nothing.

"After the safety auto it was pretty unexpected when I touched the wall as I didn't brake late or anything, I felt I was quite cautious, but then when I turned I thought the vehicle isn't turning, I then hit the wall and thought I damaged the front wing or something but in the end it was OK".

The 37-year-old started the race flawlessly and looked to be taking home a nice piece of silverware, but that was before Sebastian Vettel stepped up to the plate.

Vettel was suitably impressed with his victory.

"There was no plan of any team orders". Today it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos [Sainz] at the end!

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